The Civil Services Examination offers the widest range of jobs in our country and is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). There are about twenty-three (23) services offered through this single examination.
Some of the top services offered are the two All India Services, viz., the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) along with the other central services, viz., Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS) etc. Due to the importance and nature of such civil/public service jobs, UPSC takes utmost care in selecting the right people.
The candidates are put through three kinds of testing to measure their administrative potential; and ensure that the persons selected have the following;
- A wide range of general awareness
- Analytical ability and content retention capacity, and
- Strength of character and a cheerful mental disposition even under stressful conditions
The Civil Services Examination comprises two successive stages:
- Civil Services Preliminary Examinations (Objective Type) – for the selection of candidates for Main Examination; and
- Civil Services Main Examination (Written Test and Interview) – for the selection of candidates for the various services and posts
The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions – there are four alternatives for the answer to every question) and carry a maximum of 400 marks.
- Paper I – is a paper on General Studies – 200 marks
- Paper II – is a paper on Aptitude Test- 200 marks
The Preliminary Examination is meant to serve as a screening test only and the marks obtained by the successful candidates (who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination) will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. The number of candidates admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies (across all services and posts) to be filled in the year through this examination.
Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in a year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.
The Main Examination (a written test) will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type of the following nature:
- 2 papers of Non-Ranking type (the marks obtained by candidates in these papers will not be counted for determining the final order of merit).
The two papers of non-ranking type will include:
Paper – A : one paper of an Indian language to be selected by the candidate out of languages included in the Eighth Scheduled to the Constitution (refer to NOTE IX in this section), and
Paper – B : the second paper of English, which is a compulsory language paper.
Note: Both these papers will be 300 marks each and will be of a very simple nature (of matriculation or equivalent standard) and, in a way, will mentally prepare the candidate for writing the subsequent examination.
- 7 papers of Ranking type (marks obtained in these papers will be counted for merit). The seven papers of ranking type will be:
Paper I – Essay – 250 marks
Four (4) papers of General Studies in the following manner:
Paper – II: General Studies – I on Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society – 250 marks
Paper – III: General Studies – II on Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations – 250 marks
Paper – IV: General Studies – III on Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management – 250 marks
Paper – V: General Studies – IV on Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude – 250 marks
Paper VI & Paper VII: Two (2) papers in any one optional subject (candidates may choose any one optional subject from amongst the UPSC’s list of optional subjects in the Mains Examination) – 250 marks each
For the optional papers in the Main Examination, UPSC has a list of about twenty-six subjects out of which any one subject has to be selected by the candidate.
Candidates, who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for an Interview or a Personality Test. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled
The Interview (the final leg of the examination) will carry 275 marks with no minimum qualifying marks. Marks, thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination, (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking.
Candidates will be allotted to the various services and posts keeping in view their Ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the services and posts.
- Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
- Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
- Indian Police Service (IPS)
- Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’
- Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’
- Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Group ‘A’
- Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’
- Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’
- Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)
- Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’
- Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’
- Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’
- Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group ‘A’
- Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’
- Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Grp ‘A’
- Indian Defence Estates Service, Group ‘A’
- Indian Information Service (Junior Grade), Group ‘A’
- Indian Trade Service, Group ‘A’ (Gr. III)
- Indian Corporate Law Service, Group “A”
- Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group ‘B’ (Section Officer’s Grade)
- Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service, Group ‘B’
- Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service, Group ‘B’
- Pondicherry Civil Service, Group ‘B’
- Pondicherry Police Service, Group ‘B’
(Reservation will be made for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes. Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Physically Disabled Categories in respect of vacancies as may be fixed by the Government.)
The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.
- Candidates who have appeared at an examination the passing of which would render them educationally qualified for the Commission’s examination but have not been informed of the results as also the candidates who intend to appear at such a qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the Preliminary Examination. All candidates who are declared qualified by the Commission for taking the Civil Services (Main) Examination will be required to produce proof of passing the requisite examination with their application for the Main Examination failing which such candidates will not be admitted to the Main Examination. The applications for the Main Examination are called sometime in the month of August/September.
- In exceptional cases the Union Public Service Commission may treat a candidate who has not any of the foregoing qualifications as a qualified candidate provided that he/she has passed examination conducted by the other Institutions, the standard of which in the opinion of the Commission justifies his/her admission to the examination.
- Candidates possessing professional and technical qualifications which are recognised by Government as equivalent to professional and technical degree would also be eligible for admission to the examination.
- Candidates who have passed the final professional M.B.B.S. or any other Medical Examination but have not completed their internship by the time of submission of their applications for the Civil Services (Main) Examination, will be provisionally admitted to the Examination provided they submit along with their application a copy of certificate from the concerned authority of the University/ Institution that they had passed the requisite final professional medical examination. In such cases, the candidates will be required to produce at the time of their interview original Degree or a certificate from the concerned competent authority of the University/Institution that they had completed all requirements (including completion of internship) for the award of the Degree.
- For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
- For other services, a candidate must be either:
- a citizen of India, or
- a subject of Nepal, or
- a subject of Bhutan, or
- a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
- a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.
- Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.
- Provided further that candidates belonging to categories (b), (c) and (d) above will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service.
Note: A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him/her by the Government of India.
A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years as on 1st August of the year in which he/she is appearing for the Preliminary Examination. That is, a candidate appearing for the Preliminary Examination of the year 2018 should be between 21-32 years of age as on 1st August, 2018.
The upper age limit prescribed above (of not having attained the age of 32 years as on 1st August) will be relaxed as in:
|Category||Number of attempts|
|Candidates belonging to General Category||Shall be permitted 6 attempts at the examination|
|Candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes (who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates)||Shall be permitted 9 attempts at the examination|
|Candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes||No restriction on number of attempts. Thus, candidates belonging to SC/ST can give all attempts uptill the eligible age limit.|
|In case of physically handicapped candidates (relaxation will be available to the physically handicapped candidates who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates)||They will get as many attempts as are available to other non-physically handicapped candidates of his or her community, subject to the condition that a physically handicapped candidate belonging to the General Category shall be eligible for nine attempts.|
Candidates are required to apply online using the website http://www.upsconline.nic.in. Detailed instructions for filling up online applications are available on the above mentioned website.
Note: The applicants are advised to submit only single application; however, if due to any unavoidable situation, if he/she submits another/multiple applications, then he/she must ensure that application with the higher RID is complete in all respects like applicants’ details, examination centre, photograph, signature, fee etc. The applicants who are submitting multiple applications should note that only the applications with higher RID (Registration ID) shall be entertained by the Commission and fee paid against one RID shall not be adjusted against any other RID.
All candidates, whether already in Government Service, Government owned industrial undertakings or other similar organizations or in private employment should submit their applications direct to the Commission.
Persons already in Government Service, whether in a permanent or temporary capacity or as work charged employees other than casual or daily rated employees or those serving under the Public Enterprises are however, required submitting an undertaking that they have informed in writing their Head of Office/Department that they have applied for the Examination.
Candidates should note that in case a communication is received from their employer by the Commission withholding permission to the candidates applying for/appearing at the examination, their application will be liable to be rejected/candidature will be liable to be cancelled.
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